Apart from being outside and taking pictures in natural light, using window light in pictures is my favorite! Windows can act as a giant softbox, and is darn near close to being outside in open shade. Since we are stuck indoors most of the winter months (we aren’t really winter people so we don’t spend much time in the cold. brrr!!), I have had to resort to getting creative with window light. It’s not hard to do, but you do need to look for the light source, and sometimes, embrace the grain that comes with a higher ISO when necessary.
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8 tips for using window light in
- Pay attention to how the light is coming in. In most cases, you are looking for soft, even light.
- Turn off your flash. The whole point in using windows in pictures as your light source, is to not need your flash. If you’re new around here, you have heard me say how much I discourage the use of a pop up flash. There are people who can ROCK their flash, and if you are one of them, keep doing what you’re doing!! If you’re like the majority of the mamarazzi, turn that flash off!!
- While you’re at it, turn the rest of the lights off. It is very difficult to get a good white balance when you’re mixing different kinds of lights. Also, ceiling lights can leave weird shadows on your subject as well.
- Shoot with the window facing your subject, at a slight angle to get an even light, but also some dimension.
- Or shoot with the window behind your subject for a backlit portrait. This is one of my favorite ways to use window light.
- Pay attention to the catchlights in your subjects eyes. If you’re not sure what catchlights are, check out this post! They can mean the difference in an okay portrait versus a super amazing one!
- Expose for your subject. Occasionally, your subject will need to be exposed completely different than the background. This can go both ways, if you are trying to backlight an image, you will often be overexposing the background. If you are facing your subject towards the window, you may end up with a slightly underexposed background.
- Don’t be afraid to choose a middle ground for exposure, and then tweak your image in Lightroom. Sometimes, you really are trying for something as close to perfect exposure as you can get, and the only way to be able to do that without using multiple images combined, is to choose a middle ground and then edit in a program like Lightroom. You’d be surprised how easy it is to do!
I hope this helps you with your indoor pictures. If you would like more help with indoor pictures, this may help! Also, know that these tips aren’t necessarily limited to just pictures with windows. Get creative! You can use doorways, garages, or any other natural light source in your home. Do you have a spot in your home that has lots of natural light? That may just become your favorite place to take pictures indoors!
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